Why choose Cycling?
Thousands of people have realised that using their bicycles to make journeys can help them to lose weight without dieting, save money, and enjoy a longer, healthier life. In addition, you could help to make Scotland a better place to live.
Gentle cycling uses fat as fuel. Using your bicycle to make some journeys, such as riding to work or picking up the Sunday papers, will help you to lose weight and shape your body. Because it is easy to control how hard you are working, cycling is an ideal, low impact activity if you have not been able to take exercise regularly.
Being in a car exposes you to around 25% more pollution than if you are walking or cycling. This can cause or worsen headaches, eye pain, asthma and respiratory complaints. Every time you exercise, especially outdoors, you boost your immune system, helping you to fight off illness. Apart from the physical benefits, cycling has also been proven to assist in preventing and overcoming depression.
Apart from walking, cycling is the cheapest way to travel. It is far cheaper per mile than public transport or driving. While it may not be practical for every journey, the local journeys most suited to cycling are also the worst for your car, your bank balance and the environment. By cycling to your destination, you also remove the need for parking charges.
You will reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, respiratory disease and diabetes as soon as you incorporate moderate activity into your life. If you do this regularly, statistics show that people who, for example, cycle to work regularly enjoy the wellbeing of people ten years younger.
Save yourself some time
62% of all journeys we make are between 1 and 2 miles, and nearly 75% are under 5 miles. As the greatest desire to make these journeys is at “rush hour”, this means that the time when most people want to travel is the very time we move the slowest. A cyclist can easily average 10 miles an hour, even when the streets are congested. A half hour drive to work can often be easily completed in under 15 minutes by bike.
Give your brain a boost
Regular physical activity helps more than just your body. People starting their day with a ride to work or school become more alert, confident and better able to process information and handle tasks. By using your bike on a regular basis, you will also be able to deal with stress or anxiety and boost your self confidence.
Do it for the kids
Surveys suggest that in the UK over the next 10 years we will see a 25% increase in the number of children dying before their parents. Why? Even inactive parents probably walked to school, played physical games and in doing so developed their immune system and strengthened their hearts. Unfortunately, an inactive lifestyle in the home influences children and prevents them from gaining these invaluable assets.
You can help your family and yourself: Find time for active play or recreation, encourage active travel, even if it’s just walking to school or to the shops, look for opportunities to be more active while doing normal things (like taking the stairs instead of the elevator). If you would like advice on this, you can contact your local NHS trust and ask for advice on healthy living.
See Scotland at its best
There are thousands of beautiful places around Scotland which can be enjoyed even more by bicycle. Cycling at a level of effort similar to a gentle stroll can let you cover enough ground to complete a forest loop, a tour of a country park or a pleasant afternoon exploring 5 or 6 villages with cafe stops and tourist attractions.
You can use the rail network throughout Scotland to take day trips or longer holidays with your bicycle, and ferry travel is much cheaper than if you were taking your car.